It turns out that the Israeli Navy has seized McKinney's boat, the Spirit of Humanity, as it attempted to violate the blockade against outside intervention in Gaza. Fox News has the report, "Cynthia McKinney Demands Immediate Release After Her Gaza-Bound Boat is Seized by Israeli Navy":
Former U.S. lawmaker and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, whose relief boat was seized by an Israeli naval ship Tuesday for the second time in a year, is demanding the immediate release of her and 20 other activists.More at the link.
McKinney, a longtime supporter of Palestinians, said her Greek-flagged boat, the Spirit of Humanity, was carrying medical supplies, cement, olive trees and children's toys to Gaza when it was boarded by the Israeli navy.
"This is an outrageous violation of international law against us," said McKinney. "Our boat was not in Israeli waters and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip. President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that's exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey."
The Israeli military issued a statement Tuesday saying that the boat had attempted to break a blockade of Gaza and was forced to sail to an Israeli port after ignoring a radio message to stay out of Gaza waters.
Actually, I knew something was up. I received this notification from Cynthia McKinney's headquarters, dated June 24, 2009:
From Cynthia McKinney: We Leave for Gaza Tomorrow; I've Asked the White House to Intervene for our Saftey...I received a second notification on June 25th:
I just sent the following message to President Obama:
"Mr. President, Please ask the Israelis to not harm our boats and to let us proceed to Gaza. The Israelis are paying attention and have printed stories about our boats in both the Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz. We are doing nothing more than what you have already requested the Israelis to do: ease up on the Gaza blockade. Please ask the Israelis to allow us to proceed to Gaza without harm. Sincerely, Cynthia McKinney"
You, too, can contact the White House (http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/) and ask them to send a message to Israel requesting our safe passage to Gaza. We pose no threat to Israel and represent real hope for change in US policy for the people of Gaza. I also contacted the State Department and the Justice Department with similar messages.
We are in a group training now. What will we do if . . . I'll upload pictures and some video (if I've mastered this video camera) to our http://www.dignity.ning.com/ http://www.dignity.ning.com/ and livestream.com/dignity pages. Please visit all of our pages listed below and join!!
DIGNITY will be planning some direct actions inside the U.S., too. Additionally, I have communicated with the authorities re Troy Davis and am in communication with Peltier's attorney.
As always, I do look forward to hearing from you!!
The Israelis are hopping mad. And they're flexing their muscles in all the ugly places. They can't ram us again without sparking an international uproar, so they're trying to stop us from leaving the port at all. The Limasol, Cyprus Port Authority which controls the port of Larnaca also, sent their inspector to Larnaca with a letter saying that the boat failed inspection, only thing, the letter was written BEFORE he even arrived in Larnaca to do the inspection! Reuters is doing the story at this very moment saying that we were prevented from leaving due to Cypriot authorities. We just learned from a Cyprus government source that pressure is being applied by Israel to deny us departure credentials. It appears, then, that Israel is putting us into contortions because they don't want us to take cement into Gaza. After white phosphorus, depleted uranium, DIME, cluster bombs, F16s, death, destruction, and mayhem. All of *this* over a few bags of cement. Can you believe???This really has nothing to do with promoting humanitarianism in Gaza. It has all to do with promoting Cynthia McKinney. Check the links to the "Dignity" page above. I've just skimmed them, but her supporters appear on the fringe of the left-wing fringe. Unfortunately, McKinney's playing an extremely high stakes game. It's dangerous business. And there's really not much she can achieve as one who's no longer in government and as one who's developed a reputation as acting outside of international law.
1. Read the Haaretz article here, showing Israeli concern about us taking cement to Gaza
2. Hear the interview with Don Debar on the contortions we're being put through by Cyprus Port Authority
3. Read the Reuters article here (interesting that the story broke in Israel and not Cyprus!!)
4. Individuals have already started to contact the Cyprus UN Mission and their DC Embassy to inquire why they are arbitrarily not allowing the Spirit of Humanity and the Free Gaza to set sail.
1. Here is the Ha'aretz article:
Last update - 17:00 18/06/2009
Activists plan to send Gaza cement, in violation of Israel blockade
By Reuters and Haaretz Service
http://www.twitter.com/haaretzonlineActivists campaigning for an end to Gaza's blockade by Israel will sail to the Hamas-run enclave from Cyprus despite the presence of the Israeli navy, they said on Thursday.
Two boats, including one carrying cement and building supplies -- materials not permitted in by Israel over fears that they could be used for military purposes -- will sail from Cyprus on June 25, the multi-national Free Gaza Movement said.
"We are taking 15 tons of cement, which is just a token of how much the Palestinians need, because the Israelis won't allow building supplies into Gaza," said Greta Berlin, a representative of the group.
The group started regular shuttles to Gaza from Cyprus in August 2008, but was turned back by the Israeli navy on its last journey in mid-January of this year.
Israel tightened a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after the Islamist Hamas took control of the enclave, a strip of land that is home to 1.5 million people.
Israeli forces bombed and then invaded Gaza in late December 2008 in a bid to rout out militants lobbing rockets into Israel, badly battering its already decrepit infrastructure.
* U.S. ups pressure on Israel to end Gaza blockade
* Ex-president Carter urges Obama to remove Hamas from U.S. terror list http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1093577.html
2. Hear Greta Berlin and I explain what is happening with the purposeful delay of our departure?http://www.livestream.com/wbaix
3. Read the Reuters article:
??? 12:54 25Jun09 -Cyprus halts aid boats bound for Gaza Strip LARNACA, Cyprus, June 25 (Reuters) ...
As I've noted previously ("Cynthia McKinney at Long Beach City College"), Ms. McKinney seems personally vexed by ideologically demons. Yid With Lid is absolutely correct in suggesting some sort of insanity.